The Naked Gun, Murder on the Orient Express Are Getting Remakes
by Rebecca Pahle | 11:45 am, December 13th, 2013
It might be because my brain’s in Friday mode, but I’m having a tough time imagining two films that are more polar opposites than The Naked Gun and Murder on the Orient Express. One is a classic film veritably filled with cinematic legends bringing their Oscar-worthy talents to the table. And the other is based on an Agatha Christie novel. But today the two very different films have something in common: They’re being run through Hollywood’s remake machine.
Technically Paramount is rebooting The Naked Gun, not remaking it, but let’s not split hairs, hm? Taking over as Detective Frank Drebin will be Ed Helms, who’s a very funny guy, but… to me this is one of those roles that’s just wrong to recast. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. The late Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin.
That said, the 21 Jump Street reboot surprised me by being absolutely hilarious, so who knows? Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant, two of the creators of Reno 911! are writing the screenplay. They’ve also written the Night at the Museum movies. I wonder who’s going to play the O.J. Simpson character. Dwayne Wade? He’s football*, right?
As for Murder on the Orient Express, that’s being remade by Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, and Mark Gordon for Fox. All three are producing; so far there’s no writer or director attached. It’s a powerhouse trio, and between them they have a ton of projects already in the works, including the Biblical epic Exodus and sequels to Prometheus and Blade Runner (Scott), the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises (Kinberg), and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair (Gordon).
I’m actually moderately excited about this one, because the original movie has a cast that is absolutely bonkers. Ingrid Bergman. Lauren Bacall. Albert Finney. Anthony Perkins. Sean Connery. Jacqueline Bisset. John Gielgud. Richard York. Vanessa Redgrave. All in the same movie. I get a little frisson of joy just imagining what the modern equivalent would be. Get Helen Mirren to be the John Gielgud valet character (hey, it was the only interesting thing about the Arthur remake). Bribe Sean Connery out of retirement and he can play the same character he was before (a few decades older, but it’d work). Meryl Streep as Lauren Bacall’s outgoing socialite—there really is no other option. Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman can be there, too. Hell, have Tom Hardy play Hercule Poirot. It may seem a bit weird, but so does him playing Elton John, and that’s happening. I’m firmly convinced he could pull it off.
THR notes that the movie could take place in the present-day, since the Orient Express doesn’t run anymore. Or it could be a period piece. I’m wishing for the former, since I think it’d be interesting to see what happens when you take an Agatha Christie story and add cell phones and security cameras to the mix.
What do you think? Is there a chance you might see one/both of these movies?
*I Googled him and discovered that he is not football. What is sport?